#WelcomeRefugees: The road ahead

For all privately sponsored Syrian applications submitted up to March 31, 2016, every effort will be made to finalize their processing by the end of 2016 or early 2017.

Starting the week of May 9, 2016, more than 40 additional dedicated staff are joining employees and partner organizations already working in visa offices in the Middle East to process these applications in May and June. Employees are located in different countries, with the bulk of the processing occurring in Beirut. These efforts will complement the ongoing work that staff have been doing throughout this process.

These efforts will also be supported by dozens of staff in Canada.

Security and health screening

Protecting the safety, security and health of Canadians and refugees is a key factor in guiding how we carry out this plan.

Each Syrian refugee that Canada welcomes will undergo a robust, multi-layered screening:

  1. immigration and security interviews are done by experienced visa officers
  2. documents are verified and biometric and biographic information collected
  3. health screening
  4. identities confirmed on arrival
Image described below

Syrian refugee children attend a UNICEF school in Kilis, Turkey.

Meet the team of federal departments and agencies

A number of federal departments work with key partners, stakeholders, provincial and territorial governments and Canadians from across the country to help welcome refugees.

Here is a quick overview of their roles and responsibilities.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

  • Ensure refugees are thoroughly screened to minimize risk to Canadians
  • Facilitate security screening at key points in the process
  • Greet arriving refugees and process them and admit them to Canada

Department of National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF)

  • Provide expertise in planning, command and control, logistics and operational support
  • Assist with the processing of refugee overseas prior to flights to Canada

Global Affairs Canada (GAC)

  • Conduct diplomatic efforts
  • Support IRCC with the proper identification and procurement of offsite processing facilities
  • Coordinate contracting of logistics support
  • Augment Locally Engaged Staff at missions and language specialists
  • Facilitate visas and diplomatic requirements for all federal staff and resources abroad
  • Increase security at Canadian embassies and off-site IRCC processing centres
  • Coordinate with host governments the waiver of exit permissions and expedited exit clearances
  • Provide mission specific pre-deployment security training and on-arrival briefings to Canada Based Staff
  • Assist with redeployment of staff and resources involved in overseas operations

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

  • Temporarily deploy IRCC staff overseas
  • Complete immigration processing overseas. This includes full immigration medical examination and security screening which will include collecting biographical information, and biometrics, such as fingerprints and digital photos, which are checked against immigration, law enforcement and security databases.
  • Coordinate the integration and resettlement of individuals in cooperation with the provinces, territories, municipalities and other partners
  • Provide health coverage until the provincial or territorial health coverage becomes available (through the Interim Federal Health Program)
  • Engage and coordinate with community organizations and volunteers to provide additional support towards integration

Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)

  • Provide quarantine screening at points of entry in Canada

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC)

  • Procure the goods and services required by the Government of Canada

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)

  • Assist IRCC and CBSA through the processing of biometric submissions to Real Time Identification (RTID) as part of the security screening process

In the news

Find out where the refugees are going

Learn which communities and service provider organizations across Canada are welcoming refugees.

Find out what your business can do to help

Your business can help by donating money, items and services, and hiring refugees.

Canada: A History of Refuge

Visit our online refugee exhibition to learn more about refugees in Canada.

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